If you are pregnant, newly postpartum, breastfeeding or a mom of young kids, one food that I encourage many mothers to include more on their plate is eggs.
Eggs are a compact nutrition powerhouse. They're quick, easy, and incredibly versatile…making them an ideal choice for moms who are already juggling a thousand things. But what sets them apart are the incredible nutrients they offer, making eggs an ideal food during pregnancy and postpartum.
Let’s look at some of the nutrients that they provide:
Choline: Eggs are one of the few foods that contain choline, a superstar nutrient that plays a vital role in your baby's brain development. It's like brain food for your little one. Choline is a nutrient that’s also important for memory and mood for you - supporting brain health and production of neurotransmitters. Many mothers aren’t getting enough choline. The only two significant sources of choline in food are egg yolks and liver.
Eggs are an important source of iodine. Iodine is essential for thyroid health and breast health.
Dysfunctions in thyroid health are unfortunately common in mothers surrounding birth. A well-functioning thyroid keeps your metabolism in check before and after birth and supports your baby's growth.
Iodine is also essential for the growth and development of a baby's brain and nervous system in utero and during breastfeeding. It also is essential in hormone regulation and immune system functioning.
In many postpartum traditions around the world, eggs are prioritized as a food essential for maintaining and strengthening the health of postpartum mothers. In some cultures, up to 10 eggs a day are given to mothers in the early weeks after birth!
Folate and B Vitamins:
These types of vitamins, folate and various B vitamins, are found in abundance in eggs.
Folate in particular is essential for supporting nervous system development and preventing neural tube defects in your baby in pregnancy.
B vitamins generally support metabolism in your body, help with energy production, body function and things like neurotransmitter and red blood cell production.
The antioxidants found in eggs help protect your cells from damage, in particular your eyes. The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin help with that.
There are also nutrients such as selenium and vitamin E that also protect your cells from damage. This extra support is especially beneficial during pregnancy when your body is working hard to create a new little human.
Omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), are essential for the development of your baby's brain and eyes, and for protecting and supporting yours too. Eggs contain varying amounts of these vital fats, especially ones marked omega-3 enriched and those that come from farms where chickens are free range and live outdoors.
Vitamin A and E:
Eggs provide vitamin A and E, which are vital for development of your baby - particularly eyes, immune system and organs, but also for the support of your skin, vision, and immune system.
Vitamin A and E are both essential for tissue repair and recovery in postpartum as well.
Incorporating Eggs into Your Diet: Easy and Delicious!
Eggs are great for pregnancy and postpartum, so let's explore some quick and tasty ways to incorporate them into your diet:
The Classic Scrambled Eggs: Whisk them up, add them to a warm oil pan. Great to add protein to any meal of the day.
Hard-Boiled for On-the-Go: Hard-boil a batch of eggs to have handy for a quick and easy snack or on-the-go option.
Eggs in a Veggie Omelette: Load up an omelette with your favorite vegetables and a dash of cheese for a hearty, nutrient-rich meal.
Avocado and Egg Toast: Top a slice of whole-grain toast with avocado and a poached egg for a power-packed breakfast or lunch.
Egg Salad: Whip up a creamy egg salad with Greek yogurt or mayo, mustard, and salt & pepper for a satisfying lunch.
Quiche for Dinner: Bake a quiche (with or without crust) filled with your preferred veggies and cheese for a delightful dinner.
Eggs are an excellent addition to your pregnancy and postpartum meals. With their incredible nutrient profile and versatility, they're the perfect choice for moms like you, who deserve to nourish themselves with the very best.
Your dietitian doula
P.S. - Want to learn more about working with me to nourish your body better during pregnancy, postpartum and in motherhood?
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